The Open UniversitySkip to content

Universal screening and early intervention for maternal mental health and attachment difficulties

Milford, Rebecca and Oates, John (2009). Universal screening and early intervention for maternal mental health and attachment difficulties. Community Practitioner, 82(8) pp. 30–33.

Full text available as:
Full text not publicly available (Version of Record)
Due to publisher licensing restrictions, this file is not available for public download
Click here to request a copy from the OU Author.
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


A pilot study developed a protocol for use by health visitors in the first six to eight postnatal weeks, and repeated at nine months, to screen for the risks of maternal mental health problems and subsequent attachment difficulties. Based on this pilot, a care pathway scheme was developed to offer targeted service delivery to women and infants needing enhanced support.

This paper describes the universal screening programme and care pathway scheme that was developed, and the support offered to deliver care. Central to the pathway is the identification of three levels of concern - low, moderate and high. The assignment of clients to moderate and high concern levels initiates the delivery of additional packages of multi-agency care. The initiative also addresses the need to improve health visitor competence and confidence in detecting and responding effectively to difficulties in mother-infant relationships.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2009 Community Practitioner
ISSN: 1462-2815
Keywords: maternal mental health; infant attachment; care pathway; universal screening; early intervention;
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Childhood Youth and Sport Group (CYSG)
Item ID: 17908
Depositing User: John Oates
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2009 10:31
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2017 09:10
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU